Everybody knows bobotie is a meat dish – after all, the dish was invented hundreds of years ago when the old people were looking for ways to prevent meat from going off. But when a vegetarian friend visited recently, we wanted to make something special. We tried lentils instead of minced meat, which was bit of a paradigm shift for The Guardians of The Traditional Bobotie, but it did come out really lovely.
So here it is: a recipe for vegetarian bobotie. It is for 3 to 4 people.
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) soft brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) mild curry powder (if you like it stronger, use 1 1/2 teaspoon curry powder)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon (7.5 ml) turmeric
- 1 teaspoons (5 ml) salt
- 1/8 teaspoon (1/2 ml) white pepper
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) butter or oil
- 1 large onion, or 2 small onions, chopped
- 1 slice of bread, soaked in water
- 2 x 390 gram tins of lentils (drained) or 2 1/2 cups cooked lentils
- 1/4 cup (60ml) sultanas
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) chutney
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vinegar
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) anchovy-free Worcester sauce or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) tomato paste
- 3/4 cup (185 ml) milk
- 1 egg
- A few sliced almonds (optional)
- A laurel / bay / lemon leaves or two
- Heat group A's spices in a heavy saucepan to release its flavour. Be careful not to scorch.
- Add onions and butter or oil and fry until onions are soft. Add chopped garlic
- Squeeze water from bread and add ingredients of group B to the onion mix.
- Simmer mixture for 20 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Pile into a buttered casserole dish
- Mix group C's ingredients together, pour over dish.
- You may want add laurel or lemon leaves to the topping. Press in lightly. Almonds on the topping are optional but very tasty.
- Bake at 180°C for about 45 minutes